PV Narasimha Rao birth centenary: Guv, KCR unveil former PM’s statue

Hyderabad: Concluding the one-year-long centenary celebrations, the Telangana government on Monday unveiled the state of the former Prime Minister (late) PV Narasimha Rao on his 100th birth anniversary here.

Governor Tamilisai Soundararajan, chief minister K Chandrasekhar Rao, PV Narasimha Rao’s daughter and MLC Surabhi Vani Devi and P V Centenary Celebrations Committee chairman Dr K Kesava Rao, among others unveiled a 16-feet bronze statue at P V Gnan Bhoomi at Rotary Park.

Later, chief minister and Governor paid floral tributes to the statue.

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The 16-feet high bronze statue has been installed by the Telangana State Cultural Department. The statue weighing two tonnes has come up at a cost of Rs 27 lakh. It is one of the seven bronze statues of Rao planned to be installed as part of centenary celebrations. While six more statues will be unveiled in districts, one will come up in New Delhi as well, Keshava Rao said.

The Necklace Road, where he was cremated and the statue now stands, was earlier rechristened in his name. The signboards have already been installed.

A signboard of the newly renamed Necklace road, which has now become PV Narasimha Rao Marg. (Photo: Siasat).

Last year, the Telangana Rashtra Samithi (TRS)-led government recently took everyone by surprise when chief minister K. Chandrashekar Rao (KCR) announced the year-long birth centenary celebration of former Congress prime minister PV Narasimha Rao (PVNR).

Moreover, KCR’s daughter and ex-member of Parliament K. Kavitha has demanded that PVNR’s be conferred with the Bharat Ratna award. 

The move was seen by many as an attempt by the TRS to appropriate PV Narasimha Rao’s legacy. The ruling party, led by KCR, was looking to consolidate a chunk of the Hindu vote bank in Telangana, TRS leaders earlier told siasat.com. It was also aimed at pre-empting the Bharatiya Jana Party (BJP) from doing the same in the state.

The TRS perhaps also wants to avoid the kind of appropriation that has happened with former union home minister and freedom fighter Sardar Vallabhbhai Patel. The BJP has always accused the Congress of neglecting Patel’s legacy. And given that PV Narasimha Rao was the Prime Minister when the Babri Masjid was demolished in 1992, it will be easy for the BJP to co-opt him in Telangana.

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